|Mertl, Gregory / Aferglow Of A Kiss; Empress; Piano Concerto|
|Add Date:||2017-07-20|| ||Pull Date:||2017-09-21|| ||Charts:||Classical/Experimental|
|Week Ending:||17 Sep||10 Sep|
Gregory Mertl (b. 1969, Ph.D in composition, Eastman School of Music), claims allegiance to the European musical tradition: he favors rhythmic fluidity, shifting textures, and instrumental color. He tends to “through-composed” pieces, those that evolve from their introductory, germ motifs. Afterglow of a Kiss (2000) is a flute concertino in scherzando temperament, with a restless demeanor that becomes exuberant, then calm. Empress (1998) is a serenade-sinfonietta that opens quietly and ends vigorously. In between, colors evolve through the interaction of the 14-piece ensemble’s diverse elements. The Piano Concerto (2008-2010) was written for the soloist, Solungga Liu. Advocating a new “aesthetic,” Mertl has the solo part evolve slowly and un-dramatically, gaining power and independence as the 1st mvmt develops. The 2nd mvmt - Coupling – creates a sense of parity between solo and orchestra. Although based on the Schumann Concerto’s Intermezzo, this music becomes tumultuous and passionate in various modes of “coupling.” Mvmt 3 celebrates interdependence. Utilizing motifs from the prior mvmts, the music becomes buoyant, unpredictable, and spirited, especially given the composer’s dependency on wind-band instruments. Mertl admits that the structure of the last mvmt may be elusive, but its flow is undeniable.